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Analysis of the technical feasibility of powering the South-West Interconnected System (SWIS) on 100% renewable energy

Gardiner, William (2013) Analysis of the technical feasibility of powering the South-West Interconnected System (SWIS) on 100% renewable energy. Masters by Coursework thesis, Murdoch University.

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Fuelled by a growing economy and increasing population, energy demand in the South West Interconnected System (SWIS) has risen by 10.04% in the past 5 years and is projected to rise by a possible 56% in the next 11 years (Independent Market Operator 2012).

This dissertation focuses on the utilisation of renewable energy within the SWIS network in order to combat climate change. Summaries of renewable energy technologies (RETs) are provided and an analysis of resource availability given. Finally an examination of energy efficiency is undertaken to determine what its potential benefit to the SWIS network could be.

A number of research projects and papers dedicated to the issue of integrating 100% renewable energy into national and/or local electrical grid networks were reviewed as part of this dissertation.

The dissertation finds that there is ample renewable energy resource to power the SWIS for the foreseeable future. While a fully renewable energy based generation system will come at significant cost, it can be expected to bring with it decreased energy wastage. This is due to the removal of thermal baseload power stations that produce energy around the clock, including in periods of low demand. Moreover, a renewable energy, distributed generation system will better be able to match supply to demand.

Finally, increased uptake of energy efficiency will have a major role to play in Western Australia’s future electricity generation mix as it will decrease the amount of additional generation capacity required.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters by Coursework)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Engineering and Information Technology
Supervisor(s): Creagh, Chris
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